Apple Is Removing The ‘Wordle’ Copycats From The App Store



If you were thinking of submitting your very own Wordle clone to the App Store, think again.

On Wednesday, multiple outlets reported that Wordle copycat apps which were just available as recently as yesterday, have been removed from the App Store.

Apple has confirmed to Mashable that the company removed the apps that had copied the hit viral word game from its App Store.

Shakked’s Wordle knockoff as seen in the App Store before it was removed.

An online firestorm erupted on Tuesday after self-described “degenerate app developer” Zachary Shakked shared the online success he was finding with his recently released App Store app called…Wordle. The app was an exact replica of software engineer Josh Wardle’s word game called Wordle.

Josh Wardle’s original ‘Wordle’ game

One difference? Wardle’s game exists on his website and is browser-based. Shakked essentially ported the game over into an iPhone app that was being distributed on the App Store. 

On top of that, Shakked was also monetizing the game via subscriptions, something that Wardle has specifically resisted doing. Wardle’s original Wordle game is completely free to play.

Wordle clones were easily found on the App Store yesterday.
The majority of the Wordle copycat apps in the App Store have been removed by Apple.

It’s important to note that Shakked’s app and the other since-removed copycat apps were not just inspired by Wordle. Other than the distribution model and monetization effort, Shakked’s iPhone app was an exact copy of Wardle’s.

These apps flat-out copied everything from the Wardle’s game’s name to its UI to its game mechanics.

As theVerge points out, Apple’s App Store guidelines state that developers should not just copy other existing apps.

“Don’t simply copy the latest popular app on the App Store, or make some minor changes to another app’s name or UI and pass it off as your own,” read Apple’s guidelines to developers.

At the time that this article was published, there were a few apps called “Wordle” still in the App Store. It’s unclear if they will be removed as well.

Shakked, the “degenerate” developer, has since posted sort of a mea culpa on Twitter. He confirmed that his copycat app was removed by Apple. He also has offered an apology, claiming that he “fucked up.” However, in the same tweet thread, he continues to defend himself and his actions.

In a followup shortly after, Shakked claimed he spoke on the phone with Wardle and attempted to partner with him. Of course, this was after he had already copied Wordle and released it on the App Store. Wardle apparently declined the offer, according to Shakked.

The morale of the story? Come up with your own ideas. Don’t flat-out copy other people’s ideas. And if you do, perhaps bragging about it online is a bad idea.


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